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Officials Say Anti-vaccination movement contributes to uptick in diseases

4/14/2014

Star-Tribune
By Laura Hancock

Danielle Sample, of Casper, used to argue with her mother, a nurse, about her choice to discontinue vaccines for her children.

She’s taken heat from medical providers. It’s hard to find a physician in Casper who will treat unvaccinated children.

Sample’s oldest son was vaccinated until he was about 18 months old, when she concluded she didn’t want her children getting immunizations after reading some items on the topic.

Her second child wasn’t vaccinated at all. And the child she is pregnant with probably will not be vaccinated, either.

“I don’t think there is enough research on them to prove that they work,” she said.

From vaccinations for the flu to meningitis to smallpox to human papillomavirus, immunizations are believed by most people to save lives and extend lifespans.

But a number of people in the past decade have declined to immunize their children, convinced they are not helpful or are even harmful. Yet the medical community blames recent outbreaks on the so-called anti-vaccination movement, also called the anti-vax movement.

“The re-emergence of vaccine-preventable diseases that have largely been eliminated is a legitimate health concern,” said Kim Deti, spokeswoman for the Wyoming Department of Health.

In Wyoming, there has been a marked increase in whooping cough, also known as pertussis, in recent years, Deti said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that is driving up measles cases in the U.S. To read more, click here.

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